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Professor Van Gucht says "First a test and then the celebrations”

During Friday morning’s National Crisis Centre press briefing the virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht gave a number of practical tips to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. In a list of “recommendations for the organisation of safe celebrations”, Professor Van Gucht provided tips on how we can safely enjoy the festive season under the current restrictions that are in force. 

·        Restrict you contacts. Don’t invite too many people. “There are no specific rules. This is something up to people’s own individual right to decide. However, keep it down to a small circle of people that you invite. Preferably you will see the same people at both Christmas and New Year. Choose for example a maximum of two households or 5 people that live alone. The rule is the fewer people, the better”.

·        Test yourself even if you feel fine. Professor Van Gucht says that “First a test and then the celebrations” should be the motto of this year’s festive season. The importance of self-testing can’t be overstressed. People that are ill should stay at home.

·        The wearing of face covering can also prove useful, for example during a “a meet and greet". If vulnerable people visit (or when visiting them) a FFP2 mask will offer optimal protection.

·        Effective ventilation is of the essence. Use the person with largest house or flat’s home for your group’s festivities. Leave the windows ajar, keep the extractor hood above the cooker running, keep the internal doors open. Use a CO2 meter where available. If CO2 levels rise too much, windows should be opened fully and/or the host(s) and their guests should go outside.


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